• Yona Diamond Dansky

    Yona Diamond Dansky: Educator, Writer and Illustrator

    Yona Diamond Dansky is a Philadelphia based writer, artist, lifelong educator, mother and grandmother with many stories to share. Moshu Worries , Yona’s first children’s book, draws upon her three-year-old grandson’s journey when Yona’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I approached Yona for an interview because this is the book I wish my child had when I was diagnosed with a blood cancer.  Most adults struggle to get their heads around a cancer diagnosis, so you can imagine how hard it is for children.  How do you explain that a parent’s sudden hair loss, lack of energy and absence from the house for long periods of time? “When Mom gets a serious illness,…

  • Catherine Robertson,  Profile

    Catherine Robertson – Writing a Bestseller

    I met Catherine Robertson at a short-fiction workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters when I was on a working holiday in the Land of the Long White Cloud.   I don’t know how the others in the workshop felt about their time there,  but I remember thinking,  “This is it. This is why I took such a meandering path and made seemingly senseless choices…I’m meant to be alive at this moment, sitting in a circle with 12 intelligent and creative people who value creative expression as much as I do, and damn  this view over Wellington Harbour is amazing.”  The 13 of us in the room, 12 Wellington-based emerging writers and…

  • Profile

    You Belong Here – Laurie Steed

    A few months before I had the opportunity to meet Laurie Steed, and before I found out about Laurie’s 1st Editions Retreat,  I borrowed You Belong Here from my local library. I park at the library carpark when I do my shopping and often pick up books on my way through. Laurie’s book caught my eye as rushed  to my car because of its title and the cover art. (When I use the library as a thoroughfare, I  seem to bring home  books in the ‘S-T’  section because they are displayed in such an enticing way). Laurie’s novel is about a Melbourne couple Jen and Steven Slater who meet and marry…

  • Alice Stephens,  Interview

    Famous Adopted People: a Novel – by Alice Stephens

    I saw Famous Adopted People at my local library and picked it up for a friend who has an adopted child.  I was in a hurry so I didn’t see the words ‘a novel’  and thought it was a non-fiction book about famous adopted people.  It is not. The book is best described as a rollicking read that explores a range of salient issues around transnational adoption and one that exemplifies how some truths are best told through fiction. At the start of the novel, we meet two young women who are negotiating the complexities of their transnational and racialized identities.  At the center of the story is Lisa Pearl, a Korean-America adoptee who isn’t…